European Union. The left curbs the reform of the CAP


The European Parliament adopted on Tuesday the reform of the common agricultural policy (CAP). The 2021-2027 program will represent 31% of the EU budget. The reform includes a step forward, wanted by the European Parliament and which is strongly emphasized: “social conditionality”. Subsidies will no longer go to farms that do not respect workers’ rights.

For the rest, it is on the ecological level that the shoe pinches. If this CAP is presented as greener, with credits conditional on environmental practices, this only affects a small part of the budget. Tuesday, during the plenary debate, the EPP rapporteur, the German Peter Jahr, in favor of this reform, gave a very low figure: “25% of direct payments will be used for ecological progress. “

No oversight by Parliament

Rapporteur too, the French socialist Eric Andrieu deplores that “the bulk of the budget will continue to be paid as aid per hectare”, support for the remuneration of farmers which mainly benefits large farms. For the parliamentarian, due to the rise in grain prices over the past six months, “we will continue to pay subsidies to farmers whose incomes will continue to increase”.

For Manuel Bompard, from rebellious France, “our agricultural model is the first factor in the collapse of biodiversity. It strongly contributes to climate change. It is the root of the misery and the disappearance of millions of farmers, and trivializes unbearable animal suffering. Today, you are proposing that we devote 270 billion (euros), a third of the European budget, in contradiction to all your fine discourse on the European Green Deal ”. Indeed, on the benches of the Left, the Greens and the Socialists, many consider this revisited CAP in contradiction with the “farm gate to fork” strategies or for the preservation of biodiversity, recently adopted by the community institutions.

The reformed CAP is also unique on this point: States will be able to adapt it. A development which may seem laudable, except that the control of the execution of the CAP will then escape the European Parliament. “Everything depends on the content of the strategic plans of the Member States and their validation by the Commission. We are going to vote more than a third of the European budget with the CAP and we do not know the content of these strategic plans ”, criticizes Eric Andrieu. Some states may not fully endorse the environmental conditionalities, which look a lot like a communications coup.

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